Facebook, AmEx Announce Small Business Contest

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American Express OPEN has launched a national contest called Facebook Big Break for Small Business, which is designed to help transform the way small businesses use Facebook to connect and engage with customers.

The company will award five small business owners an all-expenses-paid trip to Facebook’s Headquarters in Palo Alto, California for a two-day, in-depth, one-on-one business makeover and a $20,000 cash prize to drive their social media strategy. Winners will be tutored on how to maximize the power of Facebook to better market their businesses, products and services to their existing customer base, and target new customer segments.

Each winner will get practical and personal training on best practices for using Facebook Pages, Ads and Social Plugins, and will also receive a consultation about their current use of Facebook.

The Facebook training sessions will be documented and appear on OPEN’s Facebook Page and OPEN Forum, American Express’ award-winning online resource and networking site for small business owners. Content will also include “How To” videos where Facebook answers small business owner questions on how to effectively market on Facebook.

Before the five winners are chosen, ten runners-up will win $2,500 in Facebook advertising to help them target and acquire new potential customers.

To enter, small business owners need to visit OPEN’s Facebook Page and submit answers to a short questionnaire describing how they would utilize the competition’s winnings to better their business. During the first round of judging, ten small business finalists will be selected by a panel of judges, including Laura Fink of American Express, Adele Cooper of Facebook, Guy Kawasaki of Alltop and John Battelle of Federated Media.

Each submission will be judged based on the commitment to their business and growth; overall social media needs where Facebook could improve their business, and energy and enthusiasm for small business.

Finalists will then compete in a final round of judging where OPEN Facebook fans will be asked to vote for their five favorite small businesses to win the trip to Facebook and $20,000 prize.

 
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